Christmas-day evening with Sai
At 2.40 p.m. the sound of music in the form of instrumental carols welcomed everyone to partake the bliss of divine proximity and heralded the commencement of another unforgetful evening in the lives of all those present. Walking between the ladies devotees from overseas and children from the Institute, He showered His grace by accepting letters and materialising vibhooti on two occasions. After granting an interview to a doctor from USA, the Lord came out at 3.05 p.m. and occupied His chair.
The Lord indicated to a group of students from the Institute to chant from the Vedas. After the consecrating chanting, Bhagawan called upon the first speaker for the day, Mr. Hillcott, to share his thoughts.
Articulating his feelings in a clear manner in his brief speech, Mr. Hilcott said that he felt specially blessed to be in the divine presence on this holy day. He recounted his experience during the 65th birthday celebrations of Bhagawan when one of the programmes was a dance performance by a young lady. Seemingly out of place, he looked toward Bhagawan who showed no signs of it being incongruous to the milieu. Later, understanding his predicament, Bhagawan called him and revealed that the 'lady' was actually a boy of the institute.
Mr. Hillcott felt that the most important thing in life was to search for the right understanding after which the life becomes simple. He said that as the dream is a reality while sleeping, the waking state is too a dream in a different state of consciousness. What makes us cling on to this dream, he said, was attachment. In this context he narrated the story of a young man who never bothered about the lady next doors, event though she was facing grave sickness. But after he was married to her, a slight discomfort to her would make him sick with worry!
The learned speaker held that though we humans want only what is good and become dismayed when we run through rough patches of life, it is not the correct approach to life. We must accept our share of difficulties with a smile and be focussed on God. We do not say "Why me?" when the Lord grants us the opportunity to be in His divine presence from among the billions present in the world, he said. Mr. Hillcott made a point when he beckoned all Sai brothers and sisters to look within and try to know their own realkity by asking the question, "Who am I?"
Today also happened to be the anniversary of the old students association of the Anantapur campus of the Institute, called Messengers of Sathya Sai. The Lord inaugurated the proceedings by lighting the sacred lamps.
The first programme was a song in Telugu that expressed the happiness of the students at being back in their home, in the presence of their mother Sai. The speakers of the day were introduced by Ms. Sai Leela, a lecturer at the Anantapur Campus of the Institute.
The first speaker was Dr. Latha Sitaram. She said that life outside the portals of the Institute was not easy for her in the beginning. Things improved with the dramatic transformation of her husband and his coming into the Sai fold in 1992 on the Eshwaramma Day that they celebrated in Philippines. The learned speaker said that at every step of her life, she felt the presence of Bhagawan.
She went on to recount a personal experience that took place in November 1999 when a regional newsletter was launched by the Sai devotees of the region. After taking print-out, she kept the first copy in the altar of her house. When the first printed copies were offered to Bhagawan for blessing, the Lord said, "I already received a copy in Philippines. But can I have one more copy?" She said that this proved to her beyond all doubt that Bhagawan in His omnipresence accepts all acts of service offered to him, irrespective of time and place.
She also recounted the experience of the phenomenal success of the EHV programme in various countries in a very short span of time, and attributed it to the grace of Bhagawan. Even in difficult situations the programme had met with resounding success and many of the students have been having experiences of Bhagawan, she added. She recalled that the best of her time was spent in the divine atmosphere of the Institute and ended her erudite speech with a re-dedication of her life to the service of Bhagawan's mission. On an emotional note, the speaker said that what Bhagawan gives us is the education for life and one cannot possibly repay for this invaluable gift in the short span of ones Earthly sojourn.
The next speaker of the day was Mrs. Chetna. She started her speech with a reference to the current facing mankind. The reason for this, she opined, was the deficiency of true spiritual education. She said that the journey of soul's perfection does not end on being embodied in a human frame, and that human beings have to become divine by following the path shown by Bhagawan Baba. She reiterated that a big proportion of humanity today had the chance of this evolution due to the avatar's advent. Even on the physical plane, the coming of many leaders to Bhagawan to seek His guidance had helped in dissemination of values in society.
The learned speaker said that the questions like, "Will Earth acquire perfection like Utopia"?, "Will God walk on Earth"?, and "Will there be one religion"? have been asked since time immemorial, and today we can say "Yes, Yes, an emphatic Yes" for we are in the presence of God Himself. She added that all students of Bhagawan must be spirited and participate in the fulfilment of this mission divine.
The speaker ended her outstanding speech by saying that Swami is the lighthouse for entire humanity and sought His blessings for growing worthier of His love. She pledged that the students of Bhagawan will spend every drop of their blood in serving His divine mission and spreading his message.
The last speaker of the day was Ms. Rajeshwari Patel, a lecturer from the Anantpur campus of the Institute. She began her succinct speech by referring to a tragic incident that happened in Tokyo where a mother, uncared by her busy daughter, is found dead after many days of her demise. She said that this is a glaring example of the value crisis that our society is facing today.
She referred to the visit of the NAC (National Accreditation Committee) team to the Anantapur campus on the 3rd of December. Showing them the campus, he herself realised that Bhagawan has been doing so much for the student's community. She stressed the point that the girl students and teachers of the nation have to, and must play a regenerating role in the transformation of the Indian society.
On an emotional note, she recalled the golden days when Bhagawan would visit the campus frequently and said that Bhagawan has lighted the lamps of our hearts and we pledge to spread this light of love to all.
After the talks, starting 4.30 p.m., Bhagawan blessed the gathering with His divine discourse. The full text of the discourse has been separately provided. The programme for the day ended with 'arthi' to Bhagawan at 5.30 p.m., after which the Lord retired for the day.
A Christmas has come and gone, but sure enough, for all those who were
fortunate to be present in the divine proximity, it has left behind sweet
memories to treasure for life and a joy that could be perhaps compared
to another blissful presence in the presence of the of Bliss personified.